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Billy[_6_] Billy[_6_] is offline
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Default Hey PETA, Screw Wildlife

In article ,
Karl Kleinpaste wrote:

FarmI writes:
The wildlife do not have the luxury of 'deciding' where to live. They
were born there.

It's tiring to see this failed mode of argument.

How many humans were born here? That is, how many were born to families
living right in this area, even right up my own road?

Rather a lot.

There is no "who was here first" argument to be made. My family is the
2nd-newest inhabitant of a home on this road, and we've already been
here a decade. Most of the families up my road have been here literally
all their lives, right down to Nasty Ron, the retired old man with the
bad attitude halfway between us and the main road, who thinks that
everybody else here is some sort of johnny-come-lately carpetbagger.

Animal populations migrate -- they do indeed decide where to live. They
just do it on a different scale and motivation.

You seem to think that just because you see a lot of biodiversity that
it will always be there. It won't and you would know that if you took
an interest in either history or environmental issues.

Oh, I take an /interest/ in them, all right. I just don't buy the lie
that everything is dying.

There are *more* deer in the area now than there were a dozen years ago.
And it was some years back that I read a report from PGC making the case
that there are more deer in Pennsylvania now than there ever have been,
throughout all of history, primarily because their only predator is man,
and we've legislated ourselves into non-combatant status via seasonal
hunting. The fact that spotty overhunting occurs, such as Ann claims,
does not reflect on the whole state. Does no one else read the
occasional reports about the need for actual herd culling in municipal
and state parks, due to deer overpopulation and their consequent
tendency to move out of desirable habitat, into more human-controlled
spaces, causing no end of difficulty such as dramatically increased
number of car crashes? Last summer, here in rural Beaver county, there
was a local problem of excess Canadian geese that inhabit Brady Run.
Weirdly, for a place where hunting and culling is normally respected,
there was a lot of argumentation over whether to off a few dozen birds.

It's interesting to see that when someone like me makes an observation
about my area, the cry goes up, "That is a local effect only! The
bigger picture is horrible!" But if those others make an observation
about (just to pull an example out of the air) overhunting in their
area, and claim extrapolation to The Greater Everywhere, no one is
allowed to make the contrary argument, "You have a local effect only,
the rest of the state is fine." It's a fun double standard to watch.

The fact that I make these observations about my "tiddling place" does
not restrict their validity to only these few small acres of my
"tiddling place." I make my observations so as to provide a context in
which to be able to make a reasonable claim that there is an
(over)abundance of wildlife all around me (e.g. the state game lands a
few miles away are chock full of critters), throughout the whole area of
western Pennsylvania outside the cities, not /just/ on my "tiddling
place," and that there is precious little actual risk to the whole. I

As to Ann's whine about what would happen if everyone hunted the local
wildlife to feed their households... The question is inapposite, as the
whole point is that all this wildlife just goes through their merry
lives with seasonal hunting only. Generally speaking, modern humans in
North America don't actually feed their households by hunting; by far,
most folks get their meat from a grocer or butcher, neatly insulated
from the inconvenient ickiness of killing their own. It was merely the
observation that I could do so (and phrased just as such), not a claim
that it is happening, or should happen, or is about to begin.

For kicks, just now I went surfing for info on Pennsylvania deer
population. The following may be the report I referenced above, but
it's been so many years since I first saw it (this is dated 1991) that
it could be just another in a long series of similar reports. I haven't
yet taken the time to read it fully.

"The Need and Difficulty of Bringing the Pennsylvania Deer Herd Under Control"

| Abstract: The Pennsylvania white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
| herd has increased dramatically in the last several years despite
| greatly increased harvests. The high statewide deer density (11+
| deer/km) causes serious losses to agricultural production, forest
| regeneration, and diversity of forest flora and fauna. High deer
| numbers are associated with an excess number of vehicle-deer
| accidents, and is implicated in the rapid increase in the incidence of
| Lyme disease in humans. Efforts to reduce deer densities locally and
| statewide (extended antlerless harvest seasons and special farm hunts)
| are not solving the damage problem. Other solutions should be
| considered, such as increasing the bag limit of antlerless deer,
| increasing hunting willingness to harvest more deer through hunter
| education programs, resolving land access problems, and developing m
| appropriate deer management units. Deer managers must be aware of the
| limitations of conventional harvest strategy to resolving deer damage
| problems, and of the need for improvisation to meet management needs.

There is no current risk of impending doom *at all* to Pennsylvania's
wildlife, least of all to deer.

You (and Ann) have mere local effects. I have the general observation,
supported anecdotally in my area, but then more fully supported with
actual studies by the sorts of people who track and manage such
questions for a living.

The problem is that you are thinking in "three score and ten" units
instead of with a geological perspective.
According to a 1998 survey of 400 biologists conducted by New York's
American Museum of Natural History, nearly 70 percent believed that they
were currently in the early stages of a human-caused mass
extinction,[22] known as the Holocene extinction event. In that survey,
the same proportion of respondents agreed with the prediction that up to
20 percent of all living populations could become extinct within 30
years (by 2028). Biologist E. O. Wilson estimated [5] in 2002 that if
current rates of human destruction of the biosphere continue, one-half
of all species of life on earth will be extinct in 100 years.[23] More
significantly the rate of species extinctions at present is estimated at
100 to 1000 times "background" or average extinction rates in the
evolutionary time scale of planet Earth.[24]

- Billy

There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who
learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and
find out for themselves.
Will Rogers